Car Maintenance: All You Need To Know Tips

You Can Do These Tips

If you want your most-prized car to last as long as it should, you obviously need to have the know-how in order to maintain it in top form. While you may be able to send your vehicle off to the repair and maintenance shop if the need arises, it’s good to keep tab of the more important essentials in car maintenance. Here are the top tips.

Inspect your car’s cooling system. Inspect for swelled, chafed, cracked or weeping hoses. A burst hose can leave you stranded. Make sure there’s enough coolant in the overflow reservoir. Add more as required. Your system should need flushing out if the antifreeze looks discolored or rusty. That’s a sign it is long overdue.

Check your car’s timing belt. If you notice heavy abrasions on the belt, cracking across the grooves, lengthwise tearing or other obvious signs of damage there’s the need to replace it as soon as you can.
Examine your car’s air filter. Your engine’s output can be reduced if your air filter is clogged with dirt and debris because it won’t flow as much as it should. Without a free-flowing supply of oxygen, internal combustion simply can’t take place.

Change your flat tire. Every driver should be able to change a flat tire, though, unfortunately, temporary spares have become less and less common. The ability to jack a vehicle up, remove a flat and install a spare is an important skill to have. Also, be able to rotate those tires, a bit more time consuming, though the payoff is prolonged tire life. Reprogram the tire-pressure monitoring system so it accurately shows which tire is where. And also, check your tire pressure.

Add oil regularly. If the engine is low on lube, every driver should also be able to top off the crankcase. Pour your oil and make sure it’s the correct viscosity. To avoid overfilling, add small amounts until the correct level is achieved. Car engines typically take between four and five quarts. Further, you could also change the oil and filter.

Replace your windshield wipers. Occasionally, you’ll need a fresh set of windshield wipers. Look for tears, warped edges or if the blades smear already rather than wipe the glass. Helping ensure your vehicle’s windshield is clear of precipitation and road grime is washer fluid. Unobstructed visibility is critical to safe driving.

More Car Maintenance Tips in Seattle

Get more car maintenance tips from your local auto repair shop in Seattle at Greenwood Collision. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Storing Your Car for Extended Periods

Going on a vacation?

There comes a time when you need to put your car away for an extended period of time. Maybe you’re going out of town for a while, or maybe your vehicle has suffered damage that renders it undrivable.

Until such a time as you can get your car down to our auto body shop in Seattle, take the following precautions to preserve your inert vehicle:

  • Wash and wax your finish.
  • Fill your tank. The less surface area that is available inside your tank, the less condensation will be gathering. This prevents rust and break-down.
  • Put a 4-mil polyethylene drop cloth on the floor of your garage to act as a vapor barrier.
  • Don’t apply your parking brake if you don’t need to. This will prevent unnecessary corrosion.
  • Use jack stands to take the vehicle’s weight off of your wheels. This will help your tires last for a longer time.
  • Disconnect your car battery and put it on a trickle-type charger. This will keep it from draining while in storage.
  • Plug your tailpipe with a rag. This will keep moisture out, guarding your car against rust.

Are Your Keys Killing Your Ignition?

Do you have a lot of key chains on your car keys?

Over time, a lot of us can develop a serious case of “janitor-keys”. Between our house keys, office keys, mailbox keys, and more, the keys to our cars’ ignition have a lot of neighbors on our keychains. You may not think about this too much, but our auto body shop in Seattle advises that this has implications for your car.

The fact is that a heavy keychain is taking its toll on your ignition. The weight of your keys, combined with the jostling action of your driving, is gradually inflicting damage on the tumblers. Sooner or later, this is going to add up to ignition failure. You can prevent this by separating your car key from the rest of your keys, driving with nothing but your ignition key in the keyhole.

The Importance of Avoiding Distractions While Driving

When you get into an automotive accident, it’s always good to not be the one at fault. To this end, it’s important to eliminate distractions as much as possible while you drive. If you don’t want to make any unexpected trips to our auto body shop in Seattle, be mindful of the following driving hazards.

The fact is that any form of multitasking behind the wheel is depriving you of not only focus, but also at least one of your hands. Dialing your phone while you drive triples your risk of getting into an accident. If you try to reach for an object rolling around on the floor, the risk goes up nine-fold. The worst, however, is texting, which sends your risk factor up by a full twenty-three times. When you get in the car, be prepared to devote all your focus to driving until you shut off the engine again.

Parents: Set Better Driving Examples for Your Kids

Most of the time, when we talk about fostering better driving habits, we’re focusing on our teenage drivers. After all, a full forty-three percent of teen drivers admit to texting while driving. However, our auto body shop in Seattle wants to remind all the parents out there that a lot of the responsibility should be falling upon them; indeed, it paints a sobering picture when you consider that the percentage of adults who admitted to texting while driving was at a whopping forty-nine.

According to a survey conducted by Liberty Mutual and Students Against Destructive Decisions, a surprising number of parents are engaged in unsafe driving practices while their kids are in the car. Eighty-three percent of students surveyed said that their parents were periodically guilty of risky driving behavior. Talking on a cellphone was the biggest offense, closely followed by speeding, with texting taking a distant third place. Sixty percent of teens said that they tried to stop this behavior, but a full forty-one percent said that they were ignored.

If this describes your own driving habits, take care to be more mindful in the future. After all, it’s not enough that you simply get your teen to his or her destination safely; you also need to set a proper example so that he or she will drive more safely when you’re not around.